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Shraddha- Importance and The Underlying Science

Item Code: NAD755
Author: Jayant Balaji Athavale
Publisher: Sanatan Bharatiya Sanskruti Sanstha
Language: English
Edition: 2012
ISBN: Vol-I: 9789352570744
Vol-II: 9789352570751
Pages: 215
Cover: Paperback
Other Details 8.5 inch X 5.5 inch
Weight 260 gm
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Book Description
About the Author

H.H. Dr. Jayant Balaji Athavale
H.H. Dr. Jayant Balaji Athavale is a world-renowned Psychiatrist. With the blessings of His Sadguru H.H. Bhaktaraj Maharaj, He established 'Sanatan Sanstha' to turn the society towards Spirituality. Holy texts written by H.H. Dr. Athavale and published by the Sanstha are 175 in number today. He has assembled enough knowledge to publish another 1000 Holy texts. These Holy texts are the textbooks of 'University of Spirituality' visualised by Him. Upon performing spiritual practice under thguidance of H.H. Dr. Athavale & due to His grace, in a span of 21 years, 12 seekers of Sanatan have become Saints. Over 160 seekers are progressing in that direction. Following H.H. Dr. Athavale's guidance, many individuals have become active foestablishment of the Hindu Nation. Lives of spiritually curious people overseas are getting emancipated by following the path of spiritual practice advised by H.H. Dr. Athavale. Under the guidance of H.H. Dr. Athavale, spiritual research is being conducted in newer fields. Objects that depict the gross level effects of the extraordinary subtle-world are also being preserved.

Pujya Sandeep Alshi
Pujya Sandeep Alshi is the eleventh Saint of Sanatan Sanstha. He has been assisting H.H. Dr. Athavale in the seva of creating Holy texts since 1995. Presently, since H.H. Dr. Athavale is unwell, He shoulders the responsibility of compiling new Holy texts in the final stage. He plays an important role in the creation of Sanatan Sanstha's publicity material such as the Almanac, Dharmshikshan posters etc.

Back of the Book

Rituals to create Sanskars, Religious practices, Holy and Religious festivals, Vowed religious observances are opportunities to put the teachings of Hindu Dharma into practice. Faith develops by following Dharrnik conduct. Faith when combined with propagation of Dharma helps unite those who have a fervourfor Dharma. When united, followers of Dharma can be protected from heretics. Unity will also help fulfil the higher goal of establishing the Divine Kingdom. Since this task has Divine blessings, it is considered to be sarnashti sadhana (Spiritual practice for the spread of Spirituality) of the highest order. When vyashti sadhana (Individual spiritual practice) is combined with samashti sadhana, God-realisation can take place faster!

Volume I


The term 'shraddha' (Special rites performed for the departed ancestors) conjures up an incorrect impression, one of unscientific and ostentatious ritualistic activity, in the minds of the younger generation belonging to the modern scientific age. This is the result of absence of any formal education on Dharma (Righteousness), indifference towards understanding Spirituality, influence of western culture, anti-Dharma organisations targeting traditions and customs in Hindu Dharma with a continuous barrage of hate-filled criticism. A line of thinking, as given ahead, is also prevalent in the society about snreaone. People, who lack faith in ritualistic worship or snreddne, and consider social service superior, have very naive views. They say that instead of performing shreoane for the pitars, they would rather donate food to the poor or provide help to schools! And, many of these people do actually put their views into practice. This is as absurd as saying, 'Instead of performing surgery to treat a particular disease, we will donate food to the poor or provide help to schools'. Since the spiritually potent mantras recited during the shraddha rites have the subtle power of providing momentum to the subtle-bodies of pitars, they can progress to a higher subtle-region of existence after the rites have been performed. This reveals the folly in the above mentioned views. Therefore, the objective of this Holy text is to remove the veil of ignorance and blind-faith of the people who maintain this line of thinking, and to change their thinking so that they develop a positive and spiritual perspective towards the sacred shraddha rites prescribed by Hindu Dharma.

Bharatiya culture says that, just as we serve our parents and close relatives when they are alive as part of abiding by our Dharma, we have certain duties unto them after their death. The shraddha rites provide us with an excellent opportunity to fulfil these duties and repay our debts unto the pitars. The snreootie rites are necessary so that the journey after death of our parents, . who have taken our utmost care during our childhood, becomes comfortable and without any distress, and that they acquire sadgati (Momentum for moving to the next higher region). If snreoane is not performed, the desires of the pitars (Deceased ancestors) remain unfulfilled. Negative energies make easy victims of such desire-riddled pitars and then, enslave them. In all likelihood, they then use them to cause distress to their own family members. By performing shredtibe, we get relieved from the distress caused by the otters, and our life on earth becomes comfortable. If shraddha is performed on a particular day, titht (Date as per the Hindu lunar almanac) and as per the position of the lunar asterisms, then, apart from the duty unto the pitars getting fulfilled, some specific benefit can also be obtained. Through such aspects, the importance and benefits of performing snrsddtie have been elaborated in this Holy text.

This Holy text also includes valuable information on various types of snreoane rites such as Nenot, Maha/aya, Btierent and Tripindt, who should perform these rites, the time and place for performing shreddne, what if appropriate Brehmens (Priests) are not available to perform the rite, necessary food items cooked for the rites, do's and don'ts for the individual performing shraddha and the individual consuming the food of shrecatie, process of performing shraddha, method of offering food to the pitars and Deities, ways and means to overcome obstacles faced while performing shreaatie etc. This Holy text also clarifies common doubts such as how the food offered to the Brebmens actually reaches the pitars, what is the science underlying a crow pecking the pinde etc.

We pray unto the Holy feet of ShrT Guru that by studying this Holy text, may everyone attain a virtuous intellect to conserve the cultural wealth in the form of 'shraddha', inherited by us from our great Sages, may shreaone be performed with faith, and may the spiritual pro.press of the pitars and the self be achieved.


  Preface 7
  Commentary by 'A Scholar' on the Divine Knowledge received about this Holy text 9
  Some terms used in connection with the 'Subtle dimension' and their meanings 11
  Meaning of spiritual terminology 12
1 Information pertaining to the word 'shraddha' 13
2 Shraddha is not mere 'rememberance of the pitars with a sense of gratitude', but a rite to be performed 13
3 History of shraddha rites 13
4 Three historically established stages of shraddha and its stages in the current Era 14
5 Objectives of performing shrsaon« 14
6 Importance and need for performing shraddha 15
7 Benefits of performing shraddha 19
8 Presiding Deities of shraddha 19
9 Types of shraddha 20
10 Terminology of shraddha 26
11 Terpene and Pitruterpene 28
12 Who should perform shraddha 31
13 When should the shraddha be performed? 33
14 Where should a shraddha be performed? 39
15 Preparations for shraddha and actions in the context of shraddha 40
15A Material required to perform shraddha 40
15B Brahmans invited to the shreootie 43
15C Rules and restrictions observed by the performer of the snreaatie and the Brahman invitees 44
15D Before making a resolve for the sbrsdohe, it is necessary to give a thought to dwariopa 45
15E Various aspects of the shreddha rites 46
15F Prayers during and after the snreddhe 49
15G Shraddha meal 49
15H How is shraddha performed during shraddhasampat? 56
15I Method of performing shredtihe on Avidhava navamT 57
15J Matamaha Shraddha 57
15K Can snrecuih« be performed for those whose final rites have not been performed appropriately? 58
15L How is shreaatie for a renunciant performed? 58
15M How is snreaahe for an yatT(Ascetic) performed? 58
15N Significance of performing snreoone sincerely 59
16 A hundred and one families from seven gotras related to the performer of the shraddha gain momentum 60
17 Methods to overcome obstacles in shraddha 60
18 Narayal}bali, Nagbali and Tripin{li shraddha 62
19 Importance of chanting the Name of Deity Dattatreya in addition to performing the shraddha rite 69
  Inappropriate views on shraddha rites & their refutation 75
  Indepth knowledge on 'Shraddha' 79

Part- II


One of the basic doctrines prescribed by the Hindu Dharma for God-realisation is to repay the debt unto the Deities, Sages, ancestors and the society. Among these, to repay the debt unto the ancestors by performing shraddha is essential.

The shraddha rites are necessary for the journey after death of our parents and close relatives to be comfortable and without any distress and the sanskar done for their sadgati (Momentum for moving to the next higher region) is termed shraddha. The mentras recited during shraddha have the subtle-energy to provide momentum to the pitars. During shraddha, since the pitars (Departed ancestors) receive havirbhag (their share) they remain satisfied. If shraddha is not performed, the desires of the pitars remain unfulfilled. Negative energies make easy victims of such desire-ridden pitars and then enslave them. In all likelihood, they use them to cause distress to their own family members. By performing shraddha, we are relieved from the distress caused by the pitars, and our life on earth becomes comfortable.

Though shraddha has so much importance, due to lack of education on Hindu Dharma, non-belief in Spirituality, having strong impression of blindly aping the western culture etc., the shraddha rites are neglected and are considered as an unnecessary karmakanda. Hence, it becomes necessary to say that like other senskar performed in Hindu Dharma, shraddha too is an essential sanskar. The basic information on the importance of shraddha, its benefits, types, restrictions as per the scriptures in shraddha etc., is provided in Sanatan's Holy text 'Shraddha (Part 1): Importance and the underlying science'. The speciality of this Holy text is that the analysis based on science of Spirituality underlying various acts during shraddha, which are beyond the intellect, has been explained. Due to this, one believes in the truth underlying shraddha and also helps in eliminating doubts about shraddha. This Holy text provides answers to questions such as why should rangoli not be drawn during Shraddha, why should the janeu be worn on the right shoulder (Apasavya), what is the science underlying the method of offering Neivedye (Food offered to Deity as part of ritualistic worship) to the Deities and pitars. Apart from this, some signs & spiritual experiences indicating that the pitars have gained momentum are also given. The Divine Knowledge obtained due to God's grace by the seekers of Sanatan Sanstha is of a higher level and hence a little difficult to understand. Then too, if we have curiosity and yearning it will help us imbibe this Divine Knowledge.

We pray unto the Holy feet of Shri Guru that by studying this Holy text, may everyone attain a virtuous intellect to conserve the cultural wealth in the form of 'shraddha' inherited by us from our great Sages, may shraddha be performed with faith and may the spiritual progress of the pitars and the self be achieved.

**Contents and Sample Pages**

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